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10 Things You Should Know about Jehovah's Witnesses

10 Things You Should Know about Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses are a people of faith that many of us likely don't know that much about. We may remember them as the people who often come to our homes in order to evangelize, but do we actually know what they believe? Below are 10 facts about this group which branched off from orthodox Christianity in the late 1800's. We answer the questions of how they started, what their core beliefs are, and how many people ascribe to this faith in the world today.
  • 1. When were the Jehovah's Witnesses founded?

    1. When were the Jehovah's Witnesses founded?


    Jehovah's Witnesses got their start in 1870 when a man named Charles Taze Russell started leading Bible studies in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Taze began disputing some of the traditional views within Christianity and the Jehovah's Witnesses were born.

     

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  • 2. Where did Jehovah's Witnesses get their name?

    2. Where did Jehovah's Witnesses get their name?


    Jehovah's Witnesses focus on God the Father, so their name is taken from the Tetragrammaton, written as YHWH or JHVH and articulated either as Yahweh or Jehovah. The group was originally called the Watch Tower Society because founder Charles Taze Russell published a magazine called Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence.

     

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  • 3. Do Jehovah's Witnesses use the same Bible as Christians?

    3. Do Jehovah's Witnesses use the same Bible as Christians?


    Jehovah's Witnesses use a Bible translation called the New World Translation. Before this translation was released specifically by and for Jehovah's Witnesses, most relied on the King James Version. 

     

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  • 4. Do Jehovah's Witnesses believe in the Trinity?

    4. Do Jehovah's Witnesses believe in the Trinity?


    The answer to this is no. It is one of the more major ways in which Jehovah's Witnesses differ from various Christian denominations. See the next couple points for more details on this.

     

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  • 5. What do Jehovah's Witnesses teach about Jesus?

    5. What do Jehovah's Witnesses teach about Jesus?


    Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus is not equal with God. They teach that Jesus was created by God and not coexistent wth Him. This, of course, is a major diversion from orthodox Christianity.

     

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  • 6. What do Jehovah's Witnesses believe about the Holy Spirit?

    6. What do Jehovah's Witnesses believe about the Holy Spirit?


    Similar to their view of Jesus, Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe the Holy Spirit is equal with the Father. The instead believe the Holy Spirit is a force applied by God.

     

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  • 7. Do Jehovah's Witnesses celebrate holidays?

    7. Do Jehovah's Witnesses celebrate holidays?


    Jehovah's Witnesses don't celebrate Christmas or Easter, which makes sense when you remember that they don't believe Jesus is equal to God. They also don't celebrate other national holidays or birthdays in an attempt to remain separate from the world.

     

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  • 8. What do Jehovah's Witnesses believe politically?

    8. What do Jehovah's Witnesses believe politically?


    Jehovah's Witnesses try to remain politically neutral. They don't believe in serving in politics or in the military, mainly as another way for them to distance themselves from the culture. Instead, they emphasize citizenship in God's heavenly kingdom. 

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  • 9. What do Jehovah's Witnesses believe about medical help?

    9. What do Jehovah's Witnesses believe about medical help?


    Jehovah's Witnesses hold the controversial view of rejecting blood transfusions, even in life or death situations. Recently, Russia banned Jehovah's Witnesses and this issue was one of the reasons stated for their doing so.

     

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  • 10. How many Jehovah's Witnesses are there today?

    10. How many Jehovah's Witnesses are there today?


    There are reportedly 8.3 million Jehovah's Witnesses around the world and nearbly 120,000 congregations. They are also known for their evangelical work going door-to-door attempting to make converts.

     

    Article based on the Christian Today article titled "Who are the Jehovah's Witnesses? 5 things you should know."

    Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons